Contract on THAAD deployment site may be delayed: S. Korean official

| Updated: Jan 16, 2017 18:13 IST

Seoul [South Korea], Jan. 16 (ANI): The contract between South Korean military and Lotte Group to exchange military land for a golf course to deploy a U.S. missile shield, THAAD, may be delayed, according to officials. South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun told a press briefing that there is a possibility for the signing to be postponed though it was originally scheduled to happen in January, reports Xinhua. The United States announced in July last year to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in Seongju county in southeastern South Korea to counter the growing nuclear threats from North Korea. However, China and Russia have continually voiced concerns over the deployment of the United States anti-ballistic missile in South Korea stating it brings negative effects to the strategic balance, security and stability of the region and the world. The spokesman said the valuation of the golf course was completed last week, noting that the Lotte side has yet to approve the final valuation by holding the board of directors' meeting. However, Lotte may refrain from signing the deal as the retail giant relies heavily on the Chinese tourists for much of its revenue. Stores of Lotte Duty Free, South Korea's largest duty free operator, are known to generate over two-third of total revenue from Chinese travelers. Lotte is also running department stores in China's major cities. (ANI)
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